Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Technology - The Gadget Wars

Recently, there's been a bit of an internet buzz around the newly released Creative Zen Vision:M, which is Creative's answer to the ViPod. Both products have a great deal in common, e.g. same height/width dimensions, same screen dimensions, practically identical menu look and layout... Here are some of the distinguishing features though.

Advantages (of the M):
  • supports DivX, XVid, Mpeg4, etc natively, meaning that you don't have to convert TV/movies before uploading
  • much longer battery life (14 hours music, 4 hours video)
  • FM radio
  • screen can show 4 x the number of colours of the ViPod, with every review saying that this makes it brighter and more vibrant
  • almost twice as thick as the ViPod
  • no iTunes integration (and I like iTunes)
  • the bottom half looks much lamer than the ViPod (the top half looks exactly the same)
  • $30 more expensive
  • not Apple
The thing is, all the disadvantages are one-offs (the extra $30 is upfront, you get used to its look, thickness and its software, but the conversion thing can become a deal-breaker. I still have flashbacks to my first MP3 player from 5 years ago - one of those Sony memory stick players - the user experience was awful, because of all the format conversion (Sony didn't support MP3 natively back then), the DRM and terrible, buggy software.

Savs, as a ViPod owner, could you provide an insight as to how big a deal the converting is?


Savs said...

Converting for me is no problem, thus far. The software's quick and hasn't messed up yet.

For me, the big advantage of the "M" would be the FM radio. But twice the thickness of the ViPod? I can't get behind that.

Ricky M said...

I should say that I have a sony and I can simply drag and drop mp3 off the desktop so it's lovely to use.